Staff Writer

Staff Writer

Julie van der Poel began her career in the IT industry, where over the course of a decade she wrote user documentation and training programs, developed and managed an educational services department, and eventually headed up a marketing team for an internet startup. Her somewhat accidental career shift towards special education came about during her six-year stint as an expat in Europe. Out of necessity, she became a full-time advocate and teaching support for her young son while they lived in Amsterdam. A move to London found Julie working with high school seniors in her son’s special needs school. It was this experience that fueled Julie’s passion for transition issues facing students with developmental and learning disabilities. Upon returning to the United States, Julie became an Independent Living Skills Instructor for postsecondary students. In this role, Julie developed curriculum and taught students everything from money handling and budgeting, to nutrition and household management.

Julie attended Georgia Tech where she earned a B.S. in Management. Julie now resides in Washington, DC with her family and two labradoodles. When she is not writing for Autism After 16, she spends most of her time ensuring that her 16-year-old son with Autism Spectrum Disorder and his exceptionally bright 8-year-old sister are getting appropriate educations.

Things That Go Creak in the Night

Consider this a warning: There is a certain "ick" factor to this column. 

Separation Anxiety

I'm sitting in an airport with my husband, but no children. 

Earning Esteem

For some reason, I’ve had Cameron apply for more opportunities/programs/camps in the past year than I have in … well … his entire life. 

The Interview

I’m proud to say that with January almost in the books, so far I’ve managed to stick with my New Year’s Resolutions. 

The Swinger

I’m trying to write, and my soon to be 17-year-old (yikes!) is outside on the swing set, making so much noise I can’t think.

New Year, New Resolutions

Happy New Year! It's time for resolutions. I'm going to attempt to branch out from my usual ...